Year-round facility: $3.4 million project underway at Dubuque country club

Employees with Tschiggfrie Excavating continue work Thursday on a $3.4 million project at Dubuque Golf & Country Club. PHOTO CREDIT: JESSICA REILLY

Dubuque Golf & Country Club is in the midst of a $3.4 million project as the facility looks to transition from a seasonal business to a year-round operation.

“I think it is really exciting,” said Hunter Fuerste, the president of Dubuque Golf & Country Club board of directors. “It’s just a game changer. There is a lot of excitement among the membership. It changes the country club to a year-round facility.”

The first part of the country club’s “365 Project,” which includes an outside patio for dining and a fire pit, has already been completed, said Lance Marting, chief operating officer of the club.

The new space is located on the back side of the club, adjacent to the putting green.

The second phase of the project is currently under construction and will include four outdoor tennis courts on top of a 13,000 square-foot structure which will house two indoor tennis courts that can also be used as pickleball courts during the winter months, Marting said. Next to the outdoor tennis courts, three pickleball courts will also be added.

The facility currently has six outdoor tennis courts on its grounds, but two of the courts will be removed to expand the parking lot.

A 4,000 square-foot lodge will also be added to the grounds and will include a bar and living room, golf simulator with a teaching and putting area, tennis shop and restrooms.

Marting said the 365 Project has been in the works for about two years now. Last year, the board approved the plans to move forward, and during a town hall in March, members approved the project by 99%.

The project’s initial start date was stalled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but now construction is underway to complete the 13,000 square-foot indoor facility, Marting said.

“We are looking forward to keep plugging away,” he said. “It is going to be unlike anything else. It will truly make us a club that we can use 365 days a year.”

Marting said the new indoor facility should be open before snow falls this winter, and he expects the lodge to be complete late this year.

The country club currently has about 500 members who are under the age of 18, Marting said. As the age demographic continues to shift, the club’s goal is to maintain a broad age-range of members and move toward a year-round model.

“It truly makes us quite a bit different than anywhere within 100 miles of us,” he said. “It makes this facility relevant to the membership and guests year-round.”

Fuerste said he has been a member of the Dubuque Golf & Country Club since 1965, and in that time, he has been amazed by how much it has continued to update the amenities and maintain its memberships.

“It’s a different club,” he said. “The membership demographic has really changed. There are more and more family-oriented things and this gives them a chance to use the membership year-round.”

When the project was put on hold earlier this year, Fuerste said residents would call and ask him if the project was still happening. It’s a project people are looking forward to seeing completed, he added.

“People are excited, and they want it to happen,” he said.